USA Ryder Cup chiefs tipped to make unprecedented change for Tiger Woods

Following on from Team USA’s sobering defeat at Marco Simone in 2023, Tiger Woods has now received even more backing to assume the role as captain following on from Zach Johnson

Three-time Ryder Cup star Hunter Mahan has backed Tiger Woods to become Team USA’s captain for the next two contests as they look to avenge their defeat in Rome in 2023.

The 15-time major championships victor was a significant absentee as Zach Johnson led his compatriots to a wounding 16-12 defeat at Marco Simone. Team Europe ensured that their opponents are without a win on away soil since 1993, inflicting a sore seventh successive loss on the road for the Americans.

Woods now appears to be the standout candidate to lead Team USA at the Ryder Cup in New York in 2025

Tiger Woods now appears to be the standout candidate to lead Team USA at the Ryder Cup in New York in 2025 (
Image: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Now, it appears that the clamour for Woods to step into the role as Johnson’s replacement as captain is building steadily as the USA target quick revenge in New York next year. Other candidates, including Phil Mickelson and ex-vice captain Stewart Cink, have offered wide-ranging responses to the prospect of potentially stepping up to the top job.

In the case of the former, he ruled himself out by saying he is too ‘divisive’ to take on the role as skipper. The latter, however, admitted that he would ‘want to be the captain’ but suggested Woods as the better candidate, acknowledging: “I think it’s up to him.”

Now, PGA Tour star Mahan has also thrown his support behind the 48-year-old great as the standout candidate to assume the reins as captain at Bethpage Black. In addition to this vote of confidence, he has also suggested that Woods could be named skipper for two successive contests – the first since Ben Hogan in 1947 and 1949.

Speaking to Bunkered, Mahan backed the legendary figure to also be captain in 2027, saying: “They should roll with Tiger for the next two and let it be a four-year commitment You’re not too worried about the next one, being at home. The home ones are kind of easy because of the emotion and the crowd is on your side.”

“The one in Ireland is going to be brutal. It’s not going to be the next one you’re worried about,” he confessed as he suggested Woods could produce results in Ireland. “I know players love Stewart [Cink] and said he was incredible in the team room so I could see him getting it – but I would have to roll with Tiger.”

Woods has been tipped to lead the United States team at the next Ryder Cup in New York
Tiger Woods has been tipped to lead the United States team at the next Ryder Cup in New York
“Tiger’s a great leader in his own way,” he asserted, reeling off the legend’s leadership credentials. “You’ve seen it in the Presidents Cup. With Tiger being in the leadership role, he’s a completely different animal. He has this military background which is all about groups and subsets.

“He would plan this thing all out. His preparation for everything would be off the charts so that when guys get there and the tournament rolls around, they would have plan. He’s going to have everything situated in a way that nobody’s really seen before.”

Mahan added: “He’s going to be beyond prepared and learn from the past mistakes. You have to treat it differently, it’s night and day being at home and being on the road.”

Woods, who has been on the winning side in the Ryder Cup just once at Brookline back in 1999, has remained coy on the subject of the USA captaincy for now. In a reference to the ongoing negotiations over the merger of the PFA Tour and LIV Golf, he claimed that ‘there’s too much at stake with our tour to think about a Ryder Cup’, when addressing speculation recently.

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